It’s slightly inaccurate of me to refer to this blog as a dream journal. I get my ideas from dreams, but I routinely change and embellish the details in order to make the story more entertaining or easier for the reader to make sense of or sometimes merely for purposes of aesthetic design. I think that people’s insistence on accuracy when recounting their dreams is over-rated. A dream is just something your mind has made up, a creative act of your subconscious. What difference does it make if you go a little further, make up a little more? For one thing, accuracy is a lost cause. Just in the mere act of remembering a dream, your mind is already making countless changes that you’re unaware of. Secondly, by freeing yourself from the demands of accuracy, you can use dreams as an occasion for creative writing. It becomes a kind of collaboration between your conscious mind and your sub-conscious mind. It can yield some interesting results.
I’ve heard people say many times that no one cares about other people’s dreams. I can see how people feel this way, but I disagree. In the right hands, a dream can be just as interesting as any other personal anecdote. The dream has to be treated as a block of marble, a piece of raw material that can be chiseled into a beautiful sculpture. At the very least, stick with what’s interesting about the dream. It’s easy to get lost in endless digressions about how it was your dog, but it really looked like your neighbor’s dog that they had when your were a kid, except it had a collar like a dog you saw in the park the other day. It’s these sorts of things that make people lose patience with a dream teller. Stick with what has universal appeal, with what another person might find interesting, not just what has personal importance to you.
I have found that working with dreams can be a great source of writing material. At the very least, it’s good for practice. I recommend to anyone reading this, that wants to write, to at least try this method. Look at your dreams. See if there’s a structure or design or meaning there that can be molded into a story. I promise that you’ll find the results reinvigorating to your creative imagination.